A 2020 grad from the Weyburn Comprehensive School, Alex Williams, was awarded the Gene Haas Foundation scholarship of $5,000 US ($6,400 CDN).
Her machining and welding teacher, Rod Nieviadomy, presented Alex with the cheque on Friday as her sister and parents looked on, along with principal Ryan Fowler.
Alex is currently taking the Innovative Machining program at Sask Polytechnic in Regina.
This was the first time Nieviadomy had applied to this foundation for a scholarship, and he was happy that Alex was a successful recipient, hoping this will encourage more girls to take classes like machining and welding.
Nieviadomy noted this U.S.-based company manufactures CNC computer-controlled machining equipment, and every year they offer scholarships through their company’s foundation.
He said he usually will see three or four girls start out in the program in Grade 10, but very few stick it out all the way to Grade 12, like maybe one every second year.
Alex said she felt deeply grateful and “very honoured” to get this scholarship, and notes it will help with her schooling expenses. She wanted to be able to take her courses without getting a student loan, and said with scholarships like this one, her first year has been paid for.
Hearing that Nieviadomy will be retiring after this year, she said she was sad about this as he was a great teacher who encouraged her and inspired her.
Alex said she isn’t sure where she will apply her knowledge, but wants to see what the options are once she graduates, as there are many applications possible for these skills.